FBI, BBB warn online shoppers of scams

By: Joe Nelson Email
By: Joe Nelson Email

Monday was expected to be the busiest day of the year for online shopping, but not everyone is looking for deals.

Scammers are taking advantage by sending fake emails that can spread viruses.

These scammers are posing as shipping services like Fedex, U.P.S. and the Postal Service, using attachments with fake links that can download viruses. Those viruses can lock computers, forcing people to pay ransoms to get them running again.

It was eBay Enterprise's biggest day of the year, serving about a quarter million customers from around 50 national retailers, all from one building in Eau Claire.

“All hands on deck, we've got everybody here, we were able to hire almost 900 people this year. All of them are scheduled to work,” Mark Allen, the director of operations said.

“There's definitely an opportunity for people to work today.”

Shoppers on Cyber Monday are avoiding long checkout lines, but risks remain.

UW Eau Claire chief information officer Chip Eckardt, along with the Better Business Bureau and the FBI are warning online shoppers about scammers posing as shipping services.

Cryptolockers sent as attachments or links on shipping tracker emails can put computers and personal information at risk.

“By the time you realize what's going on, it's too late and then it will throw up a Ransomware box, saying if you want access to your volume go somewhere and get a money order and send it to us for $300 or whatever,” Eckardt said.

Eckardt said the scams can come from in different forms, but there are ways to stay safe.

“No legitimate vendor that I'm aware of will ever ask for personal or confidential info. To me that's the biggest warning sign,” he said.

“I'd recommend copying that link and pasting it in a web browser so you see where it is. Because it's real simple to have a link that says ‘cnn.com’ and it's really going to a malicious site and pick your country in the world."

“Check for misspellings,” Allen said. “In most of our instances, we wouldn't send out an attachment at all.”

Eckardt said if anything looks odd about an email you receive, contact the company to find out if it's legitimate.


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